The Arena Gold Cup Concludes in Berkshire
The penultimate top title of the UK winter arena season came to a nail biting end at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club on Saturday 27 February, with Simon Arber’s Four Quarters Orange team taking the Gold Cup. Both teams were on 18 goals apiece as the clock ticked down in the final chukka, and it looked as though extra time would be needed to decide the game. The windswept spectators, crammed into the stands were on the edge of their seats as Arber scored the winning goal in the last few seconds meaning Club Chairman, Jamie Morrison, and his teammates Roddy Williams and Charlie Wooldridge just missed out. The Final really was a great game, unlike the previous major tournaments this season, the play was fast, clean and thrilling to watch. Umpire for the day Nacho Gonzalez made no show of the ‘yellow duster’ and it seemed that Jack Richardson and Richard, the Earl of Tyrone, had formed a more than stable game plan with Simon Arber that certainly achieved the result in the end. Twelve Chops played a classic game and their skill and pony power was well matched to their opposition. Both Williams and Morrison were cool, calm and collected and Wooldridge, who had shown off his skill in St Moritz, was more than on the mark hitting some well-timed backhands. Richard, the Earl of Tyrone, who had a 100% accuracy rate on his penalties in the game was deservedly named The Polo Magazine Most Valuable Player, and to make his day even better he took home the Polo Times Best Playing Pony Award for his mount Jet.
The Silver Cup was won by Hilali Noordeen and his team of Chris Hyde and Nico San Roman, with an impressive score of 23-16, against a Gaucho line-up of Adolfo Casabal, Faisil Al-Rifai and Harold Hodges. The Bronze Cup went to Regal Eclipse despite the German team Picazo Polo Stud pulling out all the stops.
A full report on the tournament will feature in the April issue of Polo Times along with a Pony Power feature on Polo Times Best Playing Pony Jet, and all the pictures from the sidelines. Subscribe now to avoid missing out by clicking here.
Photograph: Runners-up Twelve Chops with Greta Morrison and winners Four Quarters Orange. By Lucy Wilson